The right-to-repair movement will want to hear about this.
As this owner found out, causing seemingly minor damage to your Model 3 can land you with a substantial repair bill at an official Tesla Service Center. Donald Bone was driving his brand new Tesla Model 3 when he hit some debris on the road, causing damage to the battery pack.
Expecting to pay a few hundred dollars to get it fixed, he took the Model 3 to his local Tesla service center, as any responsible owner would do. However, Bone was shocked when Tesla asked for an eye-watering $16,000 to have the battery replaced.
Feeling ripped off, Bone brought his Model 3 over to Electrified Garage, an independent Tesla repair shop owned by Rich Benoit from YouTube channel Rich Rebuilds, to see if he could get a cheaper quote. Electrified Garage discovered that the impact caused a coolant tube to hit the battery nipple. The resulting crack then caused the coolant to leak.
Tesla was unable to service this part and told Bone he would need to have the entire battery pack replaced at a cost of $16,000. Unfortunately for Bone, his insurance policy didn't cover comprehensive claims for road debris, meaning he would need to pay the bill. With no other option, Bone went with Electrified Garage.
Fortunately, the third-party repair shop found a much cheaper and simpler solution. The nipple was removed and threaded back into the battery pack housing using a brass fitting. This simple solution works well as the Model 3's battery coolant system operates at around 2 psi boost pressure.
Whereas Tesla wanted to replace the battery pack for $16,000, this simple fix cost just $700 including labor costs. In another similar case, Tesla quoted another customer $20,000 to have the battery replaced in a Model 3 that was two months out of warranty when the car was worth $25,000. Bone's experience certainly makes a strong case for the 'right to repair' movement, which allows independent shops like this to acquire the data and tools needed to service today's vehicles.